Friday, July 19, 2013

Water, Water, Everywhere

Didn't think I would get to post this week, but found some time today to say there has been some progress on the lake quilt. The progress is hard to see in this photo, because all I've worked on is the water...and there's a whole lot of it.

The water in the upper half of the quilt (where you don't see pins anymore) has been free-motion quilted. Kind of hard to see here, but that's ok, because I want the water fabric to speak for itself.

That said, I had a heck of a time choosing the threads for it. I started out with this conglomeration:

But trying to figure out, much less mark, where all of the sections of these colors would meet up or overlap, just drove me crazy. And then I remembered all the gorgeous, variegated thread my friend Janet gave me for Christmas (in a beautiful fabric basket she'd made). Tada.....!!!

(Bad) early photo of lake quilt inside transparent vinyl, marked 'light' and 'dark' with dry-erase markers.
These spools are 'Rainbows' by Superior Threads. Oh. My. Gosh. The way they stitch out (sorry, I'm a novice with them, so excuse my enthusiasm)...incredibly beautiful. This photo doesn't really do them justice.

What it does show clearly, along with the photo below, is something I hadn't encountered with any other landscape quilt. This one is larger than any others I've made, so the scale of the quilting needed to be larger, meaning keeping the stitching lines further apart, as well (or so I was thinking). Also, the background (water) fabric is not stabilized and is of course the first layer of fabric atop the batting. So, long story short...I wasn't prepared for the soft puckering that occurred between the lines of stitching.

The reassuring thing is, after the rest of the elements--rocks, turtles, grass, etc.--are quilted, there will be the option of adding more stitching to the water. That should diminish, if not eliminate, the puckering (and some people don't really mind puckering--it's just not something I'm used to with all of my previous, denser quilting using polyester batting). Even so, one thing to keep in mind is that the density of the overall quilting needs to be fairly consistent. Otherwise the quilt can end up with some narrow sections and some wide sections---and by the time you square all of that up, your landscape may look totally out of proportion! Not good.

At any rate, quilting is coming to a halt here for a couple of weeks. The next two days will be spent doing laundry and packing, and Monday I'll head out with my son and daughter-in-law to visit her family in Jackson, Wyoming--a part of the country I've never seen. Yesterday a friend said to me, "Oh Linda, you won't believe how beautiful it is there," so I'm more excited than ever about taking my camera for new landscape quilt inspiration. Whoop whoop!

Taken this week at the house of a family friend in WY
Everyone have a wonderful weekend, and try to stay cool. It was ninety-five degrees yesterday here in Kentucky. Wyoming should be a bit cooler, but with the weird weather everywhere these days, who knows? Crossing my fingers, as hiking and rafting--more water!!--are on the schedule. Whoop whoop again! :) And that's my segue over to Whoop Whoop Friday. I love what Sarah is doing for her granddaughters for Christmas. Check out her reader hookups, too. Also hooking up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday. She's hitting the road, same as I am, but her trip is definitely quilt related. Check it out, along with her reader hookups.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mainely Quilting

Back from the wonderland that is Maine, I've pin-basted the lake quilt (how appropriate is that--lakes and Maine?) and it's ready to go on the machine.

Other than for the lake itself, I have no idea what threads will be used for all of this free-motion quilting. The water will be stitched with three shades of green. Those periwinkle flowers in the tall grass could be a bit of a bug-a-boo because of their small size, but something will occur to me (I hope). The rocks might be a lot of work but will also be fun once I figure out what color of thread(s) to use. The turtles, geese, dogwood blooms and lily pads will be the last to stitch so that they can appear as dimensional as possible. The fabric on the edge is just a temporary extension of the backing, not a border or a binding. It serves to cover the batting, which also extends beyond the quilt-top edges and tends otherwise to get caught under the machine needle.

And speaking of Maine...forgive me for posting a couple of photos, but I don't get out a lot. Nature scenes are a big deal when you're a landscape quilter, and Maine is a world away from Kentucky.

This is on the way out from Portland to Great Diamond Island, for my niece's wedding rehearsal dinner. The weather was great, so I was able to get some wonderful shots for quilt inspiration.

Then there was the day-after brunch at my sister-in-law's home. I pretty much want to live in a tent in her back yard...

...but as you can see from the first photo on this blog entry, I did come home.

I can't sign off here without sharing this next little gem. I had taken a few ratty white washcloths on the trip to wipe makeup (which I wear seldom and very little of) off my face after the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception. But as ratty as they were, housekeeping kept taking them away with the nice hotel washcloths, so when my husband and I went to the grocery today we bought some more.

After I took them off the grocery shelf and tossed them in the cart, my husband, a punmaster from way back when, picked them up, pointed at the brand name on the package and said, "Couldn't be more appropriate, since they're replacing the ones that stayed in Maine."

Gotta admit, that was a good one.

Hooking up with Sarah over at her Whoop Whoop Friday link (since I'm definitely whooping about getting the lake quilt on the machine). She just happens to be showing some other folks' work, which I missed seeing last week. There are also plenty of reader blog hookups to check out at the bottom of her post. Also hooking up with Leah Day at FMQ Friday--she's dyeing fabric, something I want to do eventually.

Hope everyone has a great week. Don't know if I'll get to post again before heading out to Jackson, Wyoming on the 22nd with my son and daughter-in-law (it was no joke when I said I don't get out much--this summer is the exception). Looking forward to visiting with my daughter-in-law's family, rafting on the Snake River and hiking in the Grand Tetons with them, and bringing back even more photos for quilt inspiration. Yeah!!!!

Stay cool, everyone!